If you have looked at any top 10 lists in the last five years for best places to live or work, chances are San Diego is near the top of the list. Known as America’s Finest City, few places can beat the lifestyle San Diego offers. Of course, all of this comes at a price. The cost of living in San Diego is 43% higher than the national average and almost 6% greater than the rest of California. Housing costs are more than double the rest of the country. One way to make living here more affordable is to find a roommate in San Diego.
As of March 2015, San Diego was the 11th most expensive rental market in the United States. The median 1-bedroom rate was $1,480 up 3.5% in the last quarter alone. Two-Bedroom rates were up 5.6% to a median of $1,900 per month. According to Rent Jungle, the most expensive area to rent is La Jolla at $3,362 per month and the most affordable is City Heights East at $1,202. Based on these rates, finding a roommate can save you a significant amount of money each month.
Thanks to recent additions of new condo high-rises, Little Italy has become one of the coolest neighborhoods to live downtown. Little Italy has low crime rates compared to other downtown areas, and it looked after by Little Italy Neighborhood Association. The association puts on many family-friendly events like the annual Holiday Tree lighting and the Saturday Marcato farmer’s market. If you have pets, Little Italy offers some of the larger and more pet-friendly condos in the downtown area. Average rent here is $2,400.
North Park is one of the hippest neighborhoods in San Diego. Here you will find the undisputed craft beer hub of San Diego with a total of six breweries! Of course, North Park offers much more than just beer. Looking over Mission Valley, North Park offers a picturesque community with many apartment communities and single homes. There are plenty of great restaurants and independent coffee shops. Rental rates here average $1,750 for a 2-bedroom.
If waterfront living appeals, residing in Core-Columbia might be what you are after. Here you will find several luxury apartments for rent, and the area is ideal for walking and biking. Known primarily as a commercial neighborhood, the Columbia district offers more than 1,800 residential units. If you work in one of the commercial buildings here, this area can’t be more convenient. Two-bedrooms average around $2,600 per month.
Once you have figured out where you want to live, it is time to start looking for a roommate. Make yourself a list of qualities that are important to you. Things like smoking, cleanliness, pets, sleeping habits and work schedule should be on your list.
Consider asking friends and family for some roommate recommendations. They know you better than anyone, so there is a chance they might know someone that might be a good living companion for you.
Searching for a roommate online is another excellent option. While many people turn to Craigslist, it can be a bit sketchy. Thankfully there are many alternative websites dedicated to helping you find the best roommate. Roommate searching sites like roomster.com even have verified members with links to their social profiles so you can get a good idea who the person is, who their friends are and much more. Roomster has more than 265 private rooms available right now in San Diego.
Once you narrow down your potential roommate list, you probably want to meet in person before making a commitment. Choose somewhere in public to meet-up like a Starbucks. If you are uncomfortable meeting someone on your own, bring a friend along with you even if you just want a second opinion. You may wish to meet a couple of times to make sure you are comfortable and compatible.
Once you find the right person, prepare a roommate agreement so you know what your responsibilities are. The agreement includes things like cooking, cleaning, groceries, utility bills, etc. Keep in mind that a vague roommate agreement may lead to problems later on, so be specific.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you in your quest to find a roommate in San Diego. With near-perfect weather, beautiful beaches and numerous tourist attractions, living here certainly has its advantages. Yes, the cost of living is high, but the lifestyle for many is worth the price of admission.
Start your San Diego roommate search today.